Courtroom etiquette

All court hearings are open to the public. Hearings are only closed when there are special circumstances. Seating for the public is provided in the gallery, usually located at the back of the courtroom.

When visiting a courtroom, you should:

  • enter and leave quietly (do not disrupt proceedings)
  • bow to the judge when you enter and before you leave
  • stand and bow when a judge enters or leaves the courtroom
  • dress appropriately (no hats or sunglasses)
  • avoid talking and eating
  • turn off mobile phones and any other electronic equipment.

Addressing a judge

In court, if you are speaking to a judge, you should stand and address them as 'Your Honour'.

When speaking to a registrar of the Court, you should address them as 'Registrar'.

The Victoria Law Foundation brochure 'What do I call the judge?' provides further information about speaking and writing to judges in Victoria. Download the brochure from the Victoria Law Foundation (External link) (External link) website.